By Julia Lovett
Flamborough Review (Mar 04, 2019)
Catholic elementary school students in Carlisle recently embarked on a voyage with the goal of enhancing their French-speaking skills and helping others.
A French Café, hosted by Grade 8 students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, was a “French-themed celebration,” according to Hailey Ardron, 13, who explained that this year’s A Night in Paris featured lots of twinkling lights, an Eiffel Tower and paintings — decor inspired by France’s capital city.
The day-long event, said French teacher Danielle Mirra, aims to offer students a cultural experience and a fun way to learn the language.
But putting on the French Café was no easy feat, according to Dominic Rocchetta. It made for a busy day that required a big setup the day before.
The Café was held over four instalments, with little time between each.
“These guys had to be on the ball and clean the tables, have the music prepped, they had games to play to make sure everything’s all cleaned up for the next group,” said Mirra.
Ardron said preparations for the event started a month in advance to ensure all the artistic and food elements were ready by the time the event rolled around.
When students, staff and their parents walked through the doors, they were enchanted by many elements inspired by the City of Love — from streamers and photos to a DJ booth and Eiffel Tower centre pieces.
In addition to the French Café festivities, students put on a sock drive. Organized by youth in grades 5 and 6, the drive benefited Mission Services of Hamilton.
“We chose a sock drive so everybody brought in a pair of socks,” said 11-year-old Nikki Duffy, who added that some brought in more. “We did the sock drive in particular because we know how cold it is outside and there’s these people that just don’t have any homes and they’re walking around.”
According to Mirra, the goal of the class was to find a need or raise awareness of an issue.
“We’re sticking with the local community and what can we do as a school community to help,” she said.
And it proved successful, with the drive garnering 585 pairs of socks for the Hamilton-based social service agency.